From truck driver to Uber driver to terror attack suspect

The New York Times reports: Sayfullo Saipov’s arrival in the United States in 2010 began unceremoniously in Ohio.

“My dad introduced him as, ‘He’s new to the United States, and he’s going to stay with us,’ ” said Bekhzod Abdusamatov, 22.

Mr. Saipov, the suspect in the terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan that killed eight people on Tuesday, arrived from Tashkent — the Uzbek capital and its largest city — knowing little English, Mr. Abdusamatov said.

He spent those early days in the United States looking for a job and trying to improve his English, Mr. Abdusamatov said. But he was also a late sleeper.

At one point, Mr. Saipov made his way to Fort Myers, Fla., where he met a fellow Uzbek immigrant, Kobiljon Matkarov, 37. Mr. Saipov was working as a truck driver at the time.

“He was a very good person when I knew him,” he said. “He liked the U.S. He seemed very lucky, and all the time he was happy and talking like everything is O.K. He did not seem like a terrorist, but I did not know him from the inside.”

As investigators began on Tuesday to look into Mr. Saipov’s history, it became clear that he had been on the radar of federal authorities. Three officials said he had come to their attention as a result of an unrelated investigation, but it was not clear whether that was because he was a friend, an associate or a family member of someone under scrutiny or because he had been the focus of an investigation. [Continue reading…]

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